Cheap flights to Southampton are available from Manchester Airport. Some flights to Southampton may also depart from other regional airports in the UK. Flights to Southampton will arrive at Southampton Airport. Trains to Southampton Central and other cities (including London) are available from the Southampton Airport Parkway station. The railway station is only a few hundred metres away from the terminal building. Uni-link operates a regular service to the city centre and the University of Southampton. Tickets can be purchased from the driver. Taxis and minibuses can be hired from the Checker Cars booking office opposite the arrivals area.
The city centre is rather compact and it is possible to get around on foot or by bicycle. Several companies provide bus services around the city centre and surrounding region. Bus companies include First, Solent Blue Line, Wilts and Dorset, and Uni-Link. Uni-link also provides a free shuttle service linking Central Station to West Quay and Town Quay. A2B also offers a free City Loop shuttle service around the city centre, six days a week. Taxis can be easily flagged down in the city centre.
Southampton has a long history as a port, so a visit to the Southampton Maritime Museum is a must. The museum documents the city’s seafaring past and occasionally organises exhibitions. It also has a collection of artefacts related to the Titanic. The Bargate was constructed in the 12th century as part of the city’s walls. Take a walking tour along the remaining length of the city walls, or visit the art gallery in the upper level. The Medieval Merchant’s House has been returned to its original 13th century appearance, and helps provide a glimpse into life during medieval times.
The Bargate Shopping Centre sits beside the historic Bargate Monument. It contains a number of trendy clothing retailers, a couple of music shops and some cafes. It also houses a branch of ShakeAway, a milkshake shop with dozens of flavours on the menu. Bedford Place is full of independent boutiques, as well as a cosmopolitan selection of cafes and takeaways. Oxford Street also has a number of elegant restaurants. The stylish White Star Tavern has small tapas-style plates on its lunch menu. Enjoy an after-dinner musical at The Mayflower, or take in a play at The Nuffield Theatre. Have a pint at the ancient Red Lion pub and see if you spot any signs of paranormal activity – the pub is reputed to be haunted.